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Sabres fall flat, remain winless

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This evening in Buffalo, the Sabres looked to grab their first victory, which has eluded them to this point.

With the way this game began, things clearly couldn’t have gone any worse.

Less than two minutes into the game, Jackets forward Marian Gaborik launched his laser of a shot, which beat Ryan Miller shoulder high. The puck would bounce off the armpit of the cage, and right onto Jackets foward Cam Atkinson’s stick. Atkinson would put the puck away, for his first goal of the season.

The Sabres quickly regained some momentum a few minutes later, following the dual fights from Patrick Kaleta and Cody McCormick.

“We’ve tried to get the tempo going early,” said Ron Rolston. ” I thought we had some good shifts in the first.”

Momentum would continue rolling Buffalo’s way, when Thomas Vanek scored a goal that will be seen on highlight reels for years to come. This goal was Vanek’s 252nd goal of his career, tying him for 5th all-time in Sabres franchise history with Danny Gare.

Just as things have gone so far early this season, the first period would quickly fall apart for Buffalo. A bad defensive play, in which the puck bounced off of Tyler Myers and into the goal, began the downfall. This goal would be credited to Nick Foligno, his second of the season.

A little over two minutes later, a bad pinch by Tyler Myers led to a Columbus 2-on-1. This advantage led to a Marian Gaborik goal, his second of the season, and third goal of the night for Columbus.

“We are a little hesitant,” said Thomas Vanek, following the loss. “Guys don’t want to make that mistake, and we make more mistakes playing that way.”

Heading into the second period, Buffalo was looking for anything to hang their hat on, in hopes that they would be able to turn things around.

In almost a mirror of the first period, Columbus would come out and capitalize on another Sabres mistake.

The Blue Jackets fourth goal, credited to Brandon Dubinsky, resulted from a David Savard point shot that became a juicy rebound. Instead of clearing the puck, the Sabres defense completely whiffed on it, allowing Dubinsky to pot his first goal of the season.

Buffalo would show some emotion throughout the remaining period, but it was clear that something was not right with this team.

“We can’t spot them 3 or 4 goals and expect to come back,” said Thomas Vanek.

While Ryan Miller continued to play excellent hockey, given the circumstances, the Sabres offense was almost non-existent in the third period.

“We have to start making plays, we just need to get past this hump. We have to start doing things with the puck,” said Miller. “I know we can do it, we just have to step up here and be better.”

As the final period progressed, fans grew restless with the Sabres inability to mount any offensive pressure. Following the 4-1 loss, the frustration was also evident in the locker room.

“This is not just a learning season, this is about a chance to play for the playoffs and the Stanley Cup,” said Miller. “We are not wasting time. We have to play better, there is no way to get around it.”

With this loss, the Buffalo Sabres remain winless on the season and run their record to 0-4-1 with one point. This has Buffalo in the basement of the Atlantic Division.

The Sabres will play again this Saturday night, against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago. That game will be broadcast on MSG at 8 PM.

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NHL Standings

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4631-12-365
A4527-10-862
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Metropolitan Division Leaders:
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M4925-21-353
-----------------------------------------
M4622-16-852
M4824-20-452
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A4719-22-644
A4518-20-743
A4415-20-939
A4611-26-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
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C4528-11-662
C4727-13-761
C4928-18-359
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P4530-11-464
P4525-14-656
P4625-16-555
Wild Card leaders:
C4827-17-458
C4526-16-355
-----------------------------------------
C4725-17-555
P4624-17-553
P4722-16-953
C4622-18-650
P4721-23-343
P4618-22-642
P4811-28-929